Dusk Rings a Bell by acclaimed author Stephen Belber debuted last night at The Lounge Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard for a limited Los Angeles run. The moving and soul searching 90 minute dramedy features 2 terrific talents: Brea Bee excels as Molly and Wes McGee is terrific as Ray in the very capable hands of director John Hindman in this very poignant production presented by The Aquila/Morong Studio. About 25 years before the story starts Molly and Ray were innocent high spirited teenagers who shared a deep romantic and soulful connection in the lifeguard's chair by the ocean near the summer home Molly vacationed with her parents. The two went their separate ways but over the years both have fondly remembered their amorous teenage soul connection. 25 years later these two lonely souls unexpectedly cross paths. Molly is a reasonably successful, divorced CNN employee from the big city who returns to the summer home to retrieve a hidden letter she wrote as a teenager to her future self. She has to break in through the bathroom window to get in and is soon discovered by the local caretaker/landscaper who turns out to be Ray. We learn he has endured and learned from his school of hard knocks experiences including starting at age 18 prison time for his peripheral connection to a hate crime resulting in the death of a young gay man. Ray and Molly's attempted reunion is an emotional, provocative and stirring roller coaster ride worth watching. I think most audience members can relate to a profound story about "the one that got away"... I know I did. Kudos to the cast members Brea Bee and Wes McGee, director John Hindman, the Calliope Productions, Aquila Morong Studio, Caitlin R. Campbell and lighting designer Toranj Noroozi, sound designer Peter Carlstedt and stage manager Linda Braumann. Course language not suitable for children. Online tickets and information available at www.plays411.com or (323) 960-7784.
Reviewed by Harrison Held/Scene Around Town